Art

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Art

Introspective Oil Paintings by Laura Berger Convey Transformation and Protection Through Entwined Bodies

September 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Chrysalis” (2022), oil on canvas, 40 x 54 inches. All images courtesy of Stephanie Chefas Projects, shared with permission

In Chrysalis, artist Laura Berger encapsulates the raw emotional energy of transformation in a soft, subdued color palette of blues and pinks. The solo show on view now at Stephanie Chefas Projects features a collection of oil paintings that center on entwined figures, their bodies protected by each other and their limbs sometimes positioned as shields.

In comparison to Berger’s earlier paintings, this body of work diverges in opacity, with translucent appendages and torsos emerging through other figures. Moonlight or a sheer veil similarly blanket some of the subjects as they huddle together in compact groups. The artist describes the works:

I’m interested in painting as a means to explore what it means to be human, what it means to be alive in this time and connected to each other—all with our own histories, our stories—but sharing in our collective humanity and our ties to what came before us and what will come next. I initially started painting as a therapeutic practice, and that continues to be the foundation for my work: using color as a centering healing tool and a way to sit with different combined energies; using narrative and composition exploration as a way to work through various experiences or memories.

If you’re in Portland, you can see Chrysalis through September 24. Otherwise, find more from Berger on Instagram, and find available prints in her shop.

 

“Accommodation” (2022), oil on canvas, 34 x 26 inches.

“Sheath” (2022), oil on canvas, 44 x 32 inches.

“The Rose Veil” (2022), oil on canvas, 40 x 52 inches.

“A Fleeting Touch 2” (2022), oil on canvas, 11 x 14 inches.

“Portrait of a Woman Dissolving” (2022), oil on canvas, 40 x 24 inches.

“Fresh” (2022), oil on canvas, 40 x 34 inches.

“A Fleeting Touch 1” (2022), oil on canvas, 11 x 14 inches.

 

 



Art

Ruled by Children, Kevin Peterson’s Paintings Find Hope Among Environmental Collapse

September 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Steady” (2022), oil on cradled wood panel, 36 × 24 inches. All images © Kevin Peterson, shared with permission

Houston-based artist Kevin Peterson (previously) continues to translate the uncertainty of today’s world into dystopian works with equal amounts despair and optimism. Scenes brimming with waste material and urban decay find boundless confidence and life in children, who unflinchingly nuzzle up to polar bears or balance atop a crumbling brick wall. Offering hope in the face of climate catastrophe and economic collapse, Peterson’s oil paintings are deeply personal, sometimes reflecting his own son and daughter as subjects. The artists tells Colossal:

I hope the coming generations are wiser, more empathetic, more courageous.  When I’m watching my kids, I’m always projecting my own insecurities and fears onto them, assuming they will suffer from my own deficiencies. I can not tell you how excited I feel when I see them diverge from those characteristics, and I realize they are not me. They are better than me in so many ways, and that is what anchors my hope for them and the future.

Many of Peterson’s works shown here are on view through September 24 at Thinkspace Projects in Los Angeles, which also has a couple of prints available. You can also follow his forward-looking practice on Instagram.

 

“Cove” (2022), oil on cradled wood panel, 24 × 18 inches

“Stay,” oil on panel, 28 x 28 inches

“Fellowship” (2022), oil on cradled wood panel, 32 × 24 inches

“Company” (2022), oil on cradled wood panel, 32 × 24 inches

“Fall” (2022), oil on cradled wood panel, 20 × 16 inches

 

 



Art Design Illustration

Flora, Fowl, and Fruit Pop with Color in Diana Beltrán Herrera’s Ornate Paper Sculptures

September 7, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Diana Beltrán Herrera, shared with permission

A menagerie of beady-eyed birds and butterflies complement vibrant florals and fruity morsels in Bristol-based artist Diana Beltrán Herrera’s elaborate paper sculptures (previously). By utilizing subtle gradients to shape flower petals and making tiny cuts to detail individual feathers, the artist adds incredible dimension and density using the ubiquitous, 2-dimensional material. Ranging from shop window displays, to individual sculptures, to interior installations, she is often commissioned to make work featuring flowers or creatures specific to a location or region, and in a meticulous process of planning and sorting, she assembles different colors and sizes of paper into spritely flora and fauna.

Herrera has an exhibition planned for spring of next year at Children’s Museum Singapore, and you can find more of her work on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Seth Globepainter’s Imaginative Murals Center Childhood Optimism and Joy

September 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Back to School” (2017), Popasna, Ukraine. All images © Seth Globepainter, shared with permission

French artist Julien Malland, aka Seth Globepainter (previously), is known for his murals that capture the playfulness, determination, and innocence of childhood. Painted in cities from Paris to Jersey City to Amman, the large-scale works find humor and joy in youthful pastimes, while capturing the vibrant imaginations associated with adolescence. The faceless characters tend to be optimistic even as they confront adversity, particularly in the artist’s most recent murals addressing the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Currently, Malland is working on a series of hand-embellished lithographs and preparing for a solo show opening on October 27 at Fluctuart in Paris, where he lives. He has a monograph slated for publishing this fall, as well, and you can follow updates on that release, in addition to his latest murals, on Instagram.

 

“Cecile’s House” (2021), Paris, France

“Secret Garden” (2022), Jersey City

Réunion Island (2021)

“Eye to Eye” (2021), Grenoble, France

“Ukraine” (2022), Paris, France

Detail of “Eye to Eye” (2021), Grenoble, France

“Three Cages” (2021), Amman, Jordan

 

 



Art

Solitude and Nature’s Ephemerality Emanates from the Illuminated Forms in Sung Hwa Kim’s Paintings

September 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Untitled” (2022), soft pastels and acrylic on paper, 12 x 9 inches. All images © Sung Hwa Kim, shared with permission

A sense of solitude and the finitude of time pervade the quiet, introspective works by Sung Hwa Kim. Rendering overgrown landscapes shrouded by night, the Korean artist wields the connection between ephemerality and memory, sometimes invoking nostalgia, as well. His acrylic paintings focus on fleeting acts like a glowing lightning bug or butterfly hovering above the grass while utilizing light to “symbolize the spirit of things we once loved, have lost, despair and longing. I wanted to capture these feelings and tell the viewers that even in our darkest times, there’s always light and not lose hope,” he shares.

Much of Kim’s work revolves around witnessing the world around him, and his practice includes regular walks or bike rides near his Brooklyn home. “I’m always searching for moments that are frequently overlooked in my everyday life—weeds growing in sidewalk cracks, sneakers hanging from telephone lines, fireflies in Central Park,” he shares. “It’s essential to my practice to be actively attentive and open and receptive to the world around me. It’s these moments of pause that I still enjoy and get my inspiration.”

Explore an archive of Kim’s meditative works on his site and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

“We follow the night, looking for the light” (2022), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 40 x 50 inches

“It’s alright. We’ve all been born for the first time on this planet” (2021), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 24 x 18 inches

“Your sun is my moon, my moon is your sun. Under the same sky that we share, everything is alive and has a soul” (2022), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 72 x 60 inches

“Shed your body, reveal itself. It’s with and within us” (2021), acrylic, flashe, and gouache on canvas, 30 x 24 inches

“They are not gone. They will wait for you and be with you” (2022), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 40 x 60 inches

“I woke up. The moon is full, so I send my wishes to the universe” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

 

 



Art Design

Interview: Rael San Fratello Navigates the Boundaries of 3D Printing, Architecture, and the Impact of Division

September 1, 2022

Grace Ebert

“House Divided.” All images © Rael San Fratello, shared with permission

Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael of the eponymous studio Rael San Fratello (previously) foster a practice that’s difficult to categorize, which they speak to in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. The pair pursue projects that transcend the boundaries of design, art, technology, and craft: they continually address the implications of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, had a hand in the iconic Prada Marfa, and have constructed homes entirely through 3D printing. Although their interests are broad, Rael San Fratello is always committed to the material and structural, to recognizing everyone’s humanity, and to finding sustainable, practical ways to create a more hospitable future.

It was our hope that people would be able to relate to some of the spaces we created and would be able to understand and literally feel the bereftness, loneliness, and loss created by the division in the house. These are emotions that we all have and we all understand. With this project, we wish to communicate how the (border) wall is not only dividing places. It’s dividing people. It’s dividing families and how the unfortunate politics of the wall today is dividing children from their parents.

In this conversation, the pair speaks with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert about applying their 3D-printing practice to larger projects, the role tradition plays in their works, and how, as educators, they encourage their students to embody the same innovative, endlessly curious mindset.

 

From the Frontier Drive-Inn project

 

 

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